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Navy awards cable ship replacement studies contract

Written by Nick Blenkey
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USNS Zeus (T-ARC 7), is nearly forty years old and needs to be replaced. [Military Sealift Command photograph]

BMT reports that it has been awarded a prime contract to conduct industry studies for the U.S. Navy’s T-ARC(X) cable ship replacement program.

The contract consists of capability and cost trade studies in key areas, investigation of options to maximize affordability and producibility, and development of a concept design. BMT’s partners on this project include Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), ABB Marine & Ports, and Noise Control Engineering.

The industry studies are a key step in the Navy’s recapitalization of its undersea cable installation and repair capability, as the only operational ship, USNS Zeus (T-ARC 7), is nearly forty years old and needs to be replaced. Additional missions include acoustic, hydrographic, and bathymetric survey; towing projectors; and deploying and recovering UUVs and other packages through its moonpool.

BMT will develop a T-ARC(X) design that integrates its team’s portfolio of operating cable ship designs with a newly tested hull form. BMT’s approach will apply the successful methodology employed on similar industry studies performed recently. The team also integrates producibility considerations in its approach through its shipbuilding partner, Fincantieri Marine Group.

“We’re excited to continue our vessel design support to the U.S. Navy,” said Rick Cox, Vice President in BMT’s U.S. defense business. “We’re excited to continue our vessel design support to the U.S. Navy. This award demonstrates the strength of BMT as a trusted design partner of choice, the diversity of our vessel portfolio, and our global naval architecture capabilities.”

“We are pleased to be part of this tremendous industry team led by BMT on this important program,” said Mark Vandroff, Fincantieri Marine Group’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. “We believe our team will ultimately provide the Navy with a sustainable and capable ship to perform this critical mission.”

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